Friday, December 30, 2011

Books that I have on my shelves

Okay, so if you're anything at all like me, you have approximately 30 billion books on your shelves that you haven't read, and at least 1 billion of those you probably never will read, but I just thought I would tell you what book I have on my shelves that are begging to be read, that way if I never get around to it, they will at least get a little nod here. So here they are:
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Marberry
The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
Gone by Michael Grant
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeiffer
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
White Cat by Holly Black
Caught Between the Pages by Marlene Carvell
Five Flavors of Dumb by Anthony John
Night by Elie Weisel
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Girl who Loved to Run by GP Schultz
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson
Cujo by Stephen King
Blaze by Stephen King
3 of the 4 Bachman Books by Stephen King
Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
A Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemingway
Everyman by Philip Roth
Blackbox by Nick Walker

Phew! That's a lot of books. So, you ask, why aren't you reading right now?
Because, silly blog reader, I am the world's most ridiculous procrastinator! Don't question me!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

How to describe this book...
It's about a bunch of people.
Who go to the same school. And they talk about stuff. So much is covered in this book, such as eating disorders, boys who feel the need to be big and strong, sex, homosexuality, and all that jazz. There are 20 different voices, one for each 'chapter'. Basically, the reason this gets such a low rating is that the characters would each talk for about ten pages (which, in verse, isn't very much.) and then it would move on to the next character without me having any attachment to the character at all. Honestly, you don't have much of an emotional connection with any of the characters by the end of the book. Really, the only character names I even remember out of the 20+ are Jed, Daniel, and Pete. That's not a very good ratio. That's because I didn't care about any of the characters at all - the three mentioned were just in the book more often, so I remembered their names.
I thought after reading Will Grayson squared, I would see how this author functioned on his own, and I will try another of his books because I really want to read Love is the Higher Law because of its subject matter, but I now see that John Green is the force that pushed WGWG to the awesomeness that it is. Not Levithan.
So right now, I'm lowering my eyebrows in a suspicious glare at David Levithan. We'll see how I feel about him in a little while, after I've read more of his work.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

International Covers #2 I Am Number Four

I am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1)
Numéro quatre
Ich bin Nummer Vier: Roman
Sono il numero quattro
Sou o Número Quatro (Lorien Legacies, #1)

They're all pretty cool, IMO. Which do you like best?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

International Covers #1 The Hunger Games








Personally, I like the American and Chinese versions best. I hate the Russian cover.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

From Goodreads:
In this emotionally powerful novel, three women face the age-old midlife question: If I’m halfway to death, is this all I’ve got to show for it? Holly, filled with regret for being a stay-at-home mom, sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Andrea, a single mom and avowed celibate, watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for—a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly’s castaway husband? Then there’s Marissa. She has more than her fair share of challenges—a gay teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts. As one woman’s marriage unravels, another one’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s is reconfigured into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all three of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness before it is through.

My Review:
How to describe this book? It's very good. I don't know why, but when I picked this one up, I was expecting to not like it as much as Hopkins' other books. I had read a review on Goodreads that said people under thirty wouldn't understand it. I would have to disagree with that; being a seventeen-year-old male (and having read a somewhat extensive amount of adult fiction for my age) I understood it fine. I don't think age is everything in liking this one or not.

Also, there's the issue of will I like this if I am not a woman? And I would say...maybe. I personally loved it, and I am a heterosexual male. However, I would say that it's more likely that I am the exception and not the rule, not that you shouldn't still try this one.

As for the story itself, it was pretty much flawless. Ellen has a way of creating stories that show the underbelly of the everyday in such an interesting way that I absolutely adore. However, the one problem that I had with it was that I knew what the big ending was going to be when I was less than twenty pages in. Predictability can really hurt a book.

Still, the book was intriguing, sad, and well-written--Although it's an adult book, you can still feel Ellen Hopkins in it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Wow. Wow. I loved TFOHAT, but not so much The Dead-Tossed Waves. And then...there's The Dark and Hollow Places.
That just blew my mind.
It's not so much about running from zombies. The zombies aren't so much the evil ones in this book. I mean, they're definitely a problem, but they aren't the ones we're worried about for most of the book. It's the recruiters...this book just really shows you how hideous people can be.
It's by far the best zombie book I've ever read. It's also the darkest book in the entire series, and my favorite of the trilogy.
If you are hesitant after The Dead-Tossed Waves, go ahead. This one's incredible.
People say quite a bit in their reviews that they hope for a fourth book. No. God no. Don't make a trilogy longer. That's one of the worst things, in my opinion, a writer can do. If you don't write one that's equally good if not better, then you're just going to piss off a lot of people *cough cough The Mortal Instruments*
And really, where would she go with this one? I loved the open ending.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

An Interview with Ellen Hopkins!

Recently, one of my favorite authors, Ellen Hopkins, made my life by agreeing to do a web interview with me. Now, the interview is ready to show to you all. Enjoy!

Ellen  Hopkins

ATR: Starting off, your  books are unique because they are written in verse. Do you think that this gains  or loses potential readers? What was it that first inspired you to write in  verse?

EH: I think it works both ways. The verse appeals to readers who don't like thick blocks of text, but other readers like it, too, at least once they get used to it. People who have decided they hate anything that even resembles poetry are probably turned off by it. Again, though, if they'd just dive in and read my books for STORY, I think they'd like them.
ATR: Of all of your books,  which was your favorite to write? Which was the hardest to  write?

EH: My favorite to write was probably IDENTICAL, because of the plot twists and reflections on what is alike/not alike about twins. The hardest was probably GLASS, because it recounts the deepest part of "Kristina's" addiction, and was very hard to relive.
ATR: Lately,  I have noticed that you have been planning more books than ever. I mean, Perfect, Triangles, Tilt, Collateral, and Smoke (Although I’m not  positive that last one is confirmed.) What has to be done before you can let the  public know that you are writing a new book?

EH: At this point in my career, content is pretty much up to me. So once I'm sure in my own mind of what I'm writing when, I let people know. And, yes, SMOKE (the sequel to BURNED) is slated to be the 2013 YA.
ATR: You have  said on your website that you never planned for your books to have sequels when  you were writing them. At what point do you decide that a sequel would work for  a certain book?

EH: Usually it's when I get so many requests for more of a story that I just can't NOT do a sequel. I won't, however, be doing any more CRANK books. I feel like I've exhausted Kristina's story, or maybe just exhausted myself from writing it.
ATR: I found  it really cool how, in Perfect, the  characters run into Connor and we get to see the meeting that we saw in Impulse from a different point of view.  What I wondered while reading this was, how often did you have to refer to Impulse while outlining/writing Perfect to make the confrontations  exact?

EH: Oh, many times, all the way through. My editor was really great about referencing IMPULSE, too, and she picked up something that most readers probably wouldn't have, but we wanted it right. Namely, I mentioned President Obama in PERFECT and she pointed out that he wasn't president, or even on most people's radar, when IMPULSE published in January 2007. IMPULSE has definite references to things like the Patriot Act, which date it fairly solidly in the George W. Bush era.
ATR: This  week, you will release your first adult book, Triangles . After writing such highly  praised YA books, do you worry that it will be hard to get adult’s  approval?

EH: Well, a lot of my readers have "grown up" with my books, so to speak. Someone who was 16 or 17 when CRANK published in 2004 is in his/her twenties now. And they've shared my books with other adults--parents, teachers, etc. So to a point I have a built-in adult readership. I'm hopeful that bloggers will help me grow that readership even more.
ATR: What would you say if  a teen asked you if they should read Triangles ?

EH: I'd say it depends on the maturity level of the teen. When I was a teen, we didn't have much YA to speak of, and I was definitely reading books with mature subject matter--as mature as what you'll find in TRIANGLES. It didn't damage me! But there are definitely some very steamy sex scenes in TRIANGLES. If a teen is mature enough to handle those, I think the story, even with adult protagonists, will interest him/her.
ATR: Tilt is your upcoming YA  companion novel to Triangles . How are  the two novels related to each other?

EH: The three main characters in TRIANGLES have teens, and these kids have stories of their own. The books begin at the same time, but TILT moves quite a bit past where TRIANGLES leaves off and, at the heart, is about how a death in both books affects the three TILT protagonists, making them assess their own lives. It touches on falling in love with someone with HIV, teen pregnancy, and losing oneself in an abusive and unproductive relationship.
ATR: What  words would you give to young aspiring writers?

EH: Read voraciously, and write the same way. Be observers--no, voyeurs. And be patient. Every day enrichens your life, and also your writing.
About  You
ATR: If you could go  anywhere on the planet, where would you go?

EH: That's a hard question, because I've been many beautiful places, and would like to return to them. But I'd also like to see someplace I've never seen. Maybe Costa Rica, which is on my Bucket List.
ATR: Do you  ever take a break? What do you like to do when you aren’t  writing?

EH: When I'm home (as opposed to many travel days, doing promotion, conferences, etc.), I take many small breaks during each day to enjoy my beautiful home and spend time with family and friends. We also ski, hike, bike, etc. 
ATR: How long, on average,  do you write in a day?

EH: Good days for me, and there are many, include six to eight hours writing. But even when I'm busy with other stuff, I try to write at least an hour or two every day.
ATR: I’ll  leave you with this question: if you could describe happiness in five words,  what would they be?

EH: Home. Family. Friends. German Shepherds.
Thank you, Ellen, for agreeing to do an interview with me. I wish you luck with your writing career, and I can't wait to read your future books!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

I'm not going to write a long review of this book. Aside from the fact that the storyline was dull and pointless, I hated this book because A)Holden is a complainer. He needs to grow up and shut up. B)If you took out the following phrases; 'It depressed me,''It killed me,''Chew the fat with [insert random flat character's name here],''I decided to give old [insert random flat character's name here] a call'; and about 10% of the cursing, this book would be a short story. C)Never before has it taken me over a month to read a 214 page book. That should tell you something.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have by Allen Zadoff

This book came with multiple promises--first, a good book about a fat main character, which is pretty hard to find, I guess. Not that I've been looking for it or anything. Second, it promised a humerous book. Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have is about a fat kid who decides he's tired of conforming and not doing what he should be able to just because he's fat. I won't say it fell flat in every way. It kept me entertained. Was it funny? Meh. It made me grin once or twice. Did it provide a good MC who didn't fit the standard MC mold? Yeah, I guess you could say so. So that means that it was the story that I didn't like. First, I didn't really buy much of the football parts at all. I don't pay attention to the sport at all, but Center seems like an improtant position. I get the whole 'this guy can kill you' part, but still, wouldn't the coach put in somebody who had, I don't know, played before? And you can really tell that the author is into theatrics. The story does lots of things that wouldn't happen in real life. Uh...yeah. So there's that. Anyways, I give this 3/5 stars. It's a pretty good book, but the whole thing was just sort of fake feeling, if you know what I mean.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins

Everybody has something about them that they wish that they could fix. Sometimes, fixing it would be a good thing. Sometimes, that thing isn't so bad, and fixing it could damage you.

In the long awaited and much anticipated companion to Impulse, four high school seniors tell themselves that they want to be perfect, no matter what it takes to get there. Cara wants to make her parents proud, and while good grades have always came easy to her, she has a whole new set of problems. Sean wants the perfect body and to be the best baseball player around. Kendra wants to be a model, but to do so, she feels she needs to drop some pounds, even though she's already only a size two. And Andre wishes that he could make his ancestors proud while doing what he loves to do--dance.

This book is just as beautiful and just as fucked up as all of Ellen Hopkins' books. I absolutely loved the stories of each character. They are all perfectly crafted and realistic. The only thing that I didn't like so much about this book is that because it took place at the same time as Impulse, you already know the ending if you read Impulse. However, this one does go more in-depth, I guess. Also, the poetry seemed sort of rushed in this one. Not to say it's bad--the words are perfectly okay. What I'm saying is that she didn't seem to craft it as much as it feels like she does in others of hers. It was still great, but it's kind of fun to read her books when the words make certain shapes. This one didn't do that so much. However, the characters and the stories seemed to make up for that--it still had me reading late into the night and into the early hours of morning.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Okay, because of the recent popularity and the movie that have been atached to this book, along with the comparison to To Kill a Mockingbird, I decided to pick this one up.

The Help is about an ambitious college graduate, Skeeter (Played by Emma Stone in the movie), who wants to write. She's hired at the Jackson Journal, but writing a housekeeping advice colum isn't what she had in mind. After some thought and advice from a New York City editor, she decides that she wants to write a book of interviews about black housekeepers and their white bosses. The good and the bad. And in the early 60s in Jackson, Mississippi, you can't get much more dangerous or scandalous than that.

My personal thoughts on this one? I absolutely loved it. It was sad and funny and intimate in the same breath. I actually figured it would be sadder than it actually was, because when my English teacher saw me reading it, she said, "I couldn't stop crying at all during that book!"

Drama queen.

Yeah, this one didn't make me cry (although the movie came close), but it's still an excellent book. Well-paced plot, beautifully crafted characters--some that you want to hug and some that you want to hit with a sledgehammer--and a few other elements made this one of my favorite books of all time. Read it.

You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Best Book
This blog is hosting a giveaway, and I am entering, so you should check it out.

And it got me thinking, what's the best book I've ever read?

And while my opinion will be different if you ask me tomorrow, my answer has gotta be To Kill a Mockingbird. It's so beautiful, heartbreaking, and human. One of the best books on earth. But maybe on another day, I'd tell you Impulse by Ellen Hopkins or It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, but today, it's To Kill a Mockingbird. Check back!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Finally, something that isn't by John Green and isn't realistic fiction for you...
The Forest of Hands and Teeth is, first of all, a zombie apocalypse novel. Second, it's a romance novel.
Mary lives in a small village where the Sisterhood reigns supreme, forcing everybody into their beliefs. Basically, there are a few things that you don't go against, and the Sisterhood is one of them.
And then the fence surrounding Mary's villaige is breached by the Unconsecrated-the zombies that push against the fence every moment of the day, trying to gain entry. Mary's world is thrown into chaos.

This book is written's like so much thought was put into every single sentence so that it would be constructed perfectly. It's thrilling, gripping, and sad all in the same breath. If you are looking for a book that will keep you turning the pages until you get to the final, pick up this book.

Monday, August 15, 2011

An Abundance of Katherines by (again...) John Green

So, in my head, there's like thirty people rolling their eyes at me for reviewing so many John Green books at the same time. There might be some of you out there literally rolling your eyes at me, too, but I promise that this is the last for a little while. I've been craving some fantasy, dystopian, and horror. I picked up The Forest of Hands and Teeth today, expect a review soon. Anyways...

In Katherines, Colin Singleton has one type of girl: girls that are named Katherine. This sounds weird, but John Green has this epically awesome way of making weird things sound normal. I can't explain it. Anyways, after being dumped for the nineteenth time by a Katherine, he is depressed, so his friend, Hassan, takes him on a road trip, no destination in mind. Now, if you've read Paper Towns, you know that if you read a Green book with a road trip in it, you are in for a treat. I don't know, it just is exciting to me. Colin and Hassan come into a job, friendships, and romantic relationships along the way.
This is my least favorite John Green novel so far. I'm not saying it's bad, just that it's not as good as his others. It's still really good, though. The writing is humerous, while at times annoying (mostly when math is involved, it bothered me, but that isn't for very much of the book).
Anyways, despite some of the bad things I've said, you should still try this book. It's very good and witty, which is great, and there is excitement and romance involved.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Okay, I know I just reviewed Paper Towns on here, and now I'm reviewing another Green novel. Get used to it, I'm on a bit of a kick right now. That should tell you something about the books, though.
Looking for Alaska tells the story of Miles 'Pudge' Halter, the last-word-obsessed boy who decides to go in search of what he calls the 'Great Perhaps'. He does this by attending a boarding school that his dad went to, where he meets his roomate, the Colonel, and of course Alaska Young.
Green's writing is addictive, funny, and at times sad in ways that other authors sometimes fall short. All of his characters are carefully put together and interesting; he makes you actually care about them. Where a few of the smaller characters seemed cliche, it was made up for with the awesome characters that got the spotlight of this book.
If you're in the bookstore and you see this book, pick it up. And also Green's other books, because they're all pretty awesome. It will be worth it, I promise you!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Deadline by Chris Crutcher

What would you do if your doctor told you that you probably only have a year to live? And that the treatments you can do to help it only might help it? And you are eighteen years old, so it's your choice what you do. Would you try to fix it? Or would you just live it out? And who would you tell? Or would you tell anybody? These are the choices that Ben Wolf is faced with in Deadline.

This book gets a three point five star review from me...I liked it a lot. But I don't like football much at all, and it didn't explain on the cover that a huge part of the book is about football. I mean, I really don't like to listen to people talking about football, and I don't like to read about it. It makes it sound on the back like it's more about track, but it's not. It's about football. Now, if you like football, that's great. Read it. Because it's also a good book about death, so's pretty good.
One thing I have to say about this book is that the parts that take place in the classroom are soooo unrealistic. If we talked to a teacher at our school the way that Ben talks to one of his, we'd get our asses sent straight to detention. Just sayin'. I mean, we'd get a warning, but those parts were just annoying. I was just stupid...teachers don't let you talk to them like that. Even if they are pushovers.
So would I reccomend it? Sure. Why not. It's pretty good. Go ahead and see what you think.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Rant on Spoilers

So, I'm not reviewing a book right now, I just need to get something off my chest.
The WORST thing ever is when I'm looking at books on the internet, which I do on a daily basis, and I read something about a book that I plan to read soon that totally blows the ending. And the question I have is: Why do you feel the need to blow the ending for everybody else, just because OMG IT MADE ME CRY SO HARD WHEN THIS HAPPENED! Because now, when I read the book, I'm just going to be reading the entire thing knowing what happens at the ending, making it less enjoyable.
And it'd be different if it was on the page for the book on the author's website, where it warns that there might be spoilers on that book. That would be on me. But no, it's on the 'other writing' section, where what this person said doesn't belong.
So please, people, NEVER EVER EVER post spoilers on the internet. Because somebody will be trying to find something on an upcoming book by the author, and find your damn spoiler that you just HAD to post, and get really freaking pissed off.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Paper Towns by John Green

This book is one that I have meant to pick up for a while. When I was in Pigeon Forge, TN, I found this awesome bookstore with really cheap prices on brand new books, and I found this hardcover copy, with the blue cover that I had never seen before, for six bucks! I like the blue cover better than the yellow one, which I see all the time, so I picked the book up.
Paper Towns picks up speed when Margo Roth Speigelman, Quentin Jacobsen's dream girl, arrives at his window at nighttime and tells him to go with her. At first, he is hesitant, but come on, this is the famed Margo Roth Speigelman, so he has to go. Through the night, they learn things about each other and have a great time, and Quentin wonders, will that night change how things are between them?
And then Margo dissapears. Which shouldn't be that big of a deal, because she's always going off on these wacky adventures. But this time, she's eighteen. Nothing can be done to bring her back, because she has free will. And what if this time, she doesn't come back on her own? So Q sets out to find her...
One of my favorite things about this book is the writing. Everything is very well thought out, and the book is somehow humerous and serious at the same time. I can't tell you how many times I actually laughed out loud at this book, getting me many odd looks from my mom. Every character is well thought out, and some have quirky details. For example, one of Quentin's friends' parents have the largest collection of black Santas. That same friend is an obsessive mod of a site called Omnictionary. Also, this book is loaded with metaphors and allusion, mostly to a poem by Walt Whitman. If you like that stuff, read this.
This book gets my 5 star review, because it's absolutely awesome. READ IT.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Indie Reading is Now OPEN!
Check out my new blog--it's now open! And the first post is a review of Forever Mine, featuring an interview with Elizabeth Reyes!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gone by Lisa McMann

Gone is the final book in the Wake Trilogy.

After the way that I liked Fade, I was excited to start reading Gone. The thing is, this one moved much slower to me. I've read reviews saying that this is the best of the trilogy. I disagree. The writing is the best, the story is the worst. That's my opinion.
Anywho, the story begins after Janie's graduation, when her and Cabel go on a little trip. Well, of course this is a book so nobody can just enjoy a trip, and they are unexpectedly forced to come home when Janie finds out that her friend had to drive Janie's mother to the hospital. When she gets there, she learns that it is not her mother who is sick, but somebody else.
Janie gets closer to this character, even though the person can't wake up. She visits the house and begins to find out a secret about the new character... And that maybe isolation wouldn't be as good as she thinks. Or...would it? Janie can't decide.
Basically, this book was the worst of the series to me because I crave adventure. This book just seemed dull and weak. I think that the final book in any series should be the strongest, and that was not the case for this one.

BTW, shoutouts to everybody who found my blog through blogger lift this week, and be sure to check out In Between Writing and Reading for my interview with Jude. It was really fun.

Anyway, I need a shower real bad. I'm gone. (See what I did there?)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fade by Lisa McMann

I finished the entire trilogy earlier (expect a Gone review soon) and I felt like Fade, the second book, was the strongest, most exciting, and overall the best book in the series.

In Fade, McMann continues Janie's story as a Dream Catcher.
Now working for the police, Captain Fran Komisky gives Janie a tough assignment: to catch the sexual predator that is working at Feildridge High. The police had been tipped off by an accidental call. The only words they picked up were fucking teachers, fucking students.
So Janie, much to Cabe's chagrin (I've always wanted to use that one XD ), takes the assignment. She closes in on a few suspicious personalities. Captain also gives her instructions to help her get closer to the teachers.
As the story goes on, the plot thickens and takes one twist that will keep you thinking. This book was a fun, fast read that I really enjoyed, even more than the first or third book. The story drags you in and forces you to keep reading until you start Gone.
Again, the writing is the same as the first book, and I can see where that would annoy you. But I think that the story is a good one.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Excuse the Construction...

Okay, for those of you who haven't noticed, I've been changing how my blog looks and giving it a sort of typewriter-looking font lately. Right now, I am mostly done. I have a new header, and a new button that you can post on your blog if you want to help this one out.
If you come to my blog and the background looks like it was thrown together in five minutes, that's because I'm having trouble with the background right now.
Basically, I'm trying to get that thing that says 'a teen's reads' over to the left, and only there in the left hand corner. I know how to do that, but I will have to find the exact color as what I used on the background. It's proving very frustrating. Please don't let this bother you if the background doesn't look good yet...I'm getting there!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wake by Lisa McMann

Recently, I bought Wake for three bucks at Books-A-Million. Let’s just say I love that store’s bargain tables recently. The book was in perfect condition. Later that week, I found Fade and Gone, the sequels, and snatched them up, too. I’ll post my reviews of them later…I plan to read them before I leave for Kentucky on July 5.

Wake follows the life of Janie, a girl who intercepts other people’s dreams. She isn’t trying to do it, and she doesn’t even like to do it. And it’s getting old to her—especially the dreams about falling or being naked in a crowd that everybody has. She simply picks up people’s dreams if she is too close to them.
And the dreams are beginning to get frightening.
She picks up on a dream that is horrifying to her, and she doesn’t know who is having it, until the monster gets a face. And the face is one of her good friends.
There are lots of complaints in reviews about the writing of this book; like that McMann uses sentence fragments too often. That didn’t bother me at all, actually, but it did bother me was when she wrote like this sometimes: I hate. When. She. Writes. Like. This. Yeah, that’s seriously how some of the book’s sentences were. And it’s only a couple of times, but it’s enough to bother me.
Overall, I think that the book deserves better reviews, because it’s interesting. I loved the idea and the story, actually. I may be biased, though, because I’ve always been extraordinarily interested in dreams. (By the way, lots of the stuff they talk about in the book is possible, like changing your own dream and telling yourself what you will dream about, and that you will remember your dream. Just a cool fact.) I started the book last night and finished it this morning. For me to have that much concentration, it has to be a good book. And I think that Wake definitely was.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

In a recent impulse buy of mine, Jeff wakes up in a hospital. No, not just a hospital. The nut house.

Jeff isn't crazy. That's what he tells the nurses, the psychiatrists, and the patients. But the cuts on his wrists tell a different story. As the story progresses, Jeff begins to open up to the place in a somewhat predictable fashion. Slowly but surely.
This book is packed with dark humor remnant of but stronger than It's Kind of a Funny Story. Many times this book had me laughing, but it's also quite serious at times. The book is light-hearted while covering a heavy subject, which is hard to do. The only problem that I have is that maybe it was a little bit too light-hearted, which makes the subject matter seem like less of a big deal.
The characters are funny and likeable, especially the patients. I really enjoyed most of the characters, although a few of them (Namely Rankin) seemed somewhat dull and flat. However, Sadie's character made up for that if you ask me.
Overall, this is a good book, although there are parts that I didn't like. I don't know what it is, but something about this book just didn't meet my expectations. However, the writing is good, and the humor is good, so I gave it four stars. Still, there are only certain people I would reccomend this book to.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

I won this book in a giveaway on Goodreads. I loved the idea of it and the story sounded interesting enough.

Here's a description, because this book is hard to describe:

"Young Elly's world is shaped by those who inhabit it: her loving but maddeningly distractible parents; a best friend who smells of chips and knows exotic words like 'slag'; an ageing fop who tapdances his way into her home, a Shirley Bassey impersonator who trails close behind; lastly, of course, a rabbit called God. In a childhood peppered with moments both ordinary and extraordinary, Elly's one constant is her brother Joe.

Twenty years on, Elly and Joe are fully grown and as close as they ever were. Until, that is, one bright morning and a single, earth-shattering event that threatens to destroy their bond for ever.

Spanning four decades and moving between suburban Essex, the wild coast of Cornwall and the streets of New York, this is a story about childhood, eccentricity, the darker side of love and sex, the pull and power of family ties, loss and life. More than anything, it's a story about love in all its forms."
The book begins innocent and moves on to a darker theme. It is written in two parts, part one follows much of Elly's childhood, and part two follows a period of her adult life. I was hesitant to read Part Two because I had read reviews on the internet saying Part Two isn't as good as the first part. I wholeheartedly disagree; It's just as good, maybe even better. It's sadder, that's for sure, and it doesn't hold the humor so much as the first part, but that's fitting for the events that go on in it. I think that's why the second half of the book gets so much criticism.

The book covers so many events, some of them historical, some of them close to the fictional family, that it keeps the reader interested throughout the entire book. This was one of those books that I didn't want to stop reading until I got to the ending.

Quite frankly, this is one of the best books I have ever read, and I am afraid that it will go unnoticed by many readers. The writing is fantastic, and the story is incredibly quirky and brilliant. Readers, I beg you, pick up this book. Miss Winman, I beg you, never stop writing!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Buffer Post--Indie Reading blog coming soon!

Hey, guys, I know it's been like a week and a half since I posted, but I want you to know it will be a couple weeks.

I have an Algebra project and tests and finals until next Friday. It's going to be chaotic, and with all that, I don't have much time for reading.

I do have an announcement, though. I will be kicking off a blog for indie books in the next few weeks. If you are an indie author and you would like me to review your book, talk to me. If you really want me to review your book, talk to me and you can set up sending me a copy or an e-book. That would definately make your chances higher. Let's be honest. For an indie book, I have to be pretty well convinced it's going to be a great book if I'm going to pay higher than five bucks for it, but I don't mind paying 99cents-$2.99. I'm not THAT cheap, and I've read some spectacular indie books. I'm not begging for your book for free, but I can also find others. I'm also not saying that if you ask for me to review your book and don't offer me a free copy that I will say no. But you just have to remember that I don't have unlimited money so if your book is over 5 bucks, it's not going to be my first priority. I don't necessarily need you to ask me to review your book, but it'd be much cooler that way, I think! This should be a reading opportunity for me and a fan base opportunity for you.

With your help, indies AND followers, that blog can be a huge success, and a great opportunity for you to get a few readers.

So chill for a couple of weeks. I'll be back with a review of something, I'm sure.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dead on Town Line by Leslie Connor

Today, at Books-A-Million, I spotted a wonderful discount shelf with really cheap YA Fiction. I was pumped, but I only had a couple bucks :( However, I was able to pick up one book for only a buck! I was so pumped. The book was small, but the cover drew me in:

I love it. And what drew me even more was that when I opened it, I found that it was in verse! I love books in verse, if you didn't know that yet. It was short, and I knew that since it was in verse, it would be a verrrry quick read for me. (It's about 131 pages, and I read it on the trip from Branson to Springfield, MO, if that shows you anything.)

The book starts with a dead girl who has been murdered.

She's the narrator, and she's in a post-death state. Aparrently, if you die, you don't move on to the Next unless they find the body. Huh.

Although I don't necessarily agree with the post-life ideas that this book had, I can look past that. It was an interesting enough idea, I guess. It's kind of like purgatory that you can't control.

She meets a lady who shares the tale of her dark death in a voice that was hard to get used to at first. Later, I liked the voice because it was unique.

Leslie Connor has written a great book. I could read it over and over again, like To Kill a Mockingbird.

Check back!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Indie Feature: FILTER by Gwenn Wright

An indie author is one who publishes their book independently (thus the ‘indie’), which is tough to do because the marketing is done by you, the publishing is done by you, and it is harder this way to get your books out there and heard of.

A couple sites for indie books and self-publishing:
(On amazon, it may be tougher to find indie authors, but I believe you can publish a book on Kindle through amazon! Sorry, that’s all the info on that that I have.)

Review of Filter
by Gwenn Wright
Filter is Gwenn Wright’s first novel that she published independently. I’ve read a few indie books, and I found this one very good! I gave it a four star rating on Goodreads, but if I could have, I’d say it’s about 4.25 stars. The only real reason that I dock those .75 stars is that there were some comma errors, mostly spots that needed commas and didn’t have them. The only other problems were minor type-ohs, which any book will have, including professionally published ones. That said, it REALLY shouldn’t be a reason for you to not buy the book! It’s very interesting and fast paced.
            The book alternates between Rocky and Katherine, and I found myself wanting to read about Rocky more than Katherine, but it definitely balanced out. Both characters are interesting, and the alternating viewpoints were great for keeping the story moving along. Rocky was already on her way out of her house whenever she met these two guys who she kept calling the Matrix Twins. Okay. Here’s the one part of the book that I have a problem with. I don’t think that just because guys who I don’t even know tried to get me to go to Saint Louis, that I would just go, even if I was trying to run away. However, if you can get past that, and I am sure you can, the rest of the book is great! And Rocky starts to realize that she is connected to Katherine…
            Okay, I don’t normally read historic fiction, but it was interesting! The way that it alternates between 2010 and (I think it was) 1877 was very cool. I loved it!
            Thanks for reading my review, check out my interview with Gwenn Wright below.

Interview with
Gwenn Wright
Author of Filter
Hello, Gwenn. Thank you for agreeing to do an interview with me. The first question I have for you is, why did you decide to go indie?
Impatience is the main reason I went Indie. The idea that someone can write a book, upload it and have it for sale almost immediately is so incredible. I started trying to publish short stories and poetry in middle school and it was so incredibly difficult. And the publishing world, in terms of breaking the door down, isn’t all that different twenty years later. Publishing is about marketing. What can they sell? What can they make money off of? And you can’t blame them, it’s business. Unfortunately a lot of truly gifted overlooked that way. That’s the beauty of independent publishing, you don’t have to wait for someone whose job it is to read your synopsis and decide whether or not even that is worth looking into, to decide if your book could potentially be profitable. You put that power directly into the hands of the readers. I wrote to maybe five agents before deciding to just publish it myself. What’s so funny to me is that while the agents and publishing houses are looking for creativity and originality, they all send out the same exact form letter.
Who did you publish with? Would you recommend this service to other indie authors?
Following a friend’s suggestion, I published on Amazon for Kindle. Filter wasn’t really selling and some people said they would like to read it….if it was in paperback. After months of waffling I finally decided to try CreateSpace. It was easy, except for the document constantly being corrupted during the PDF conversion, and cheap.
Do you think that it is easier to go about publishing by yourself, or would it be easier with a publishing company?
It’s kind of hit or miss for Indie Authors. Someone take off, it seems, right from the beginning. Others work for years just trying to get a little bit of notice. Self-publishing, like writing, is not for the lazy or weak-hearted. Besides writing a book with a well-conceived plot and strong characters, you Must MUST MUST edit, and edit again. And edit a dozen times more. And then there’s formatting…for eBook and for paperback. And that can be a nightmare. After all of that is the marketing. There are thousands of eBooks uploaded daily and it’s a constant battle to get even the slightest notice. I literally put in 12-13 hour days just working on my writing and marketing. It’s enough to drive a girl insane. Anyone can self-publish, but hitting it big takes more than just talent, it takes massive amounts of work. That being said, if a publisher came forward and asked to represent my saga, I would gladly (with the advice of my lawyer) turn over the publishing and marketing to someone else. With all the marketing there is little time or energy left for writing or research.
Do you have a job other than writing? If so, do you think that you always will?
Currently I have no other job…well, no other paying job! I am wife and mother and shepherdess of poultry and that leaves little time for much else. I was working as a tech in our Broadcast studio at the University until the beginning of the semester. That was when my internship at the local paper began. It was so much fun being a reporter, a lot of work but a lot of fun, and I already miss it! Graduation is in May but I’m not starting the job hunt until August, when my youngest begins kindergarten. Maybe by then Filter will be a ginormous success and I won’t need a 9-5. ;)
What inspired you to write Filter?
Being a single mom for three years and running my own business and going to school left little time for reading and I hadn’t written a story in close to a decade. My “voice” had been lost in all the practicality that was drowning me. It is actually Stephenie Meyer’s fault that I began writing again. The whole thing started with an argument between myself and a friend. She was all gaga for Twilight and I told her it had all already been done before and had she read the Vampire Diaries because those came out in the early ‘90’s and there are some striking similarities (even some amazingly close sentences and paragraphs). She hadn’t but said I couldn’t make judgments since I hadn’t read Twilight. So, we swapped books. And for the first time in a decade I was reading YA again. Something happened then. The more I read, the more the “voice” started creeping back. This is something my husband teases me about, the voices in my head, but it’s like the stories start speaking to me, regardless of whether or not I want them to. Looney. I know.
How much research did it take to write the historic parts of the book?
The number one thing I did not want to do was jump on the PNR bandwagon. I started researching the vampire legend and it’s beginnings in Europe, particularly the “vampire epidemic” in Europe. That’s all I can tell you about that though, because eventually it factors in…well, nevermind I’ll tell you too much! I spent three months researching Saint Louis’ history and Austria’s history. Then it became necessary to study the history and science of genetics. And that is probably telling you too much! It’s difficult not giving things away. Which is I am incompetent when it comes to writing a synopsis!
In your book, Filter, Rocky liked a book series called Evening Shade. Be honest, was that a jab at Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga?
No! Rocky’s love of Evening Shade is not a jab at Twilight. It was more of a statement about my own youth, except when I was in high school we didn’t have Harry Potter or Twilight to make reading cool. My friends and I were just nerds with books. Thanks, primarily to JK Rowling, that has all changed. While Twilight wasn’t my favorite series, you can’t knock what Stephenie Meyer accomplished. And, for me, the most fascinating part of the Twilight series was watching Meyer’s growth as a writer. With each novel she became more skilled in her craft. As writer, that was encouraging to witness.
Have you begun writing the second installment in the von Strassenberg saga?
During my internship there hasn’t been much time to write so I’ve devoted all of my energy (leftover energy, wife and mother come first) to marketing. Now that graduation is only a few days away and the boys will be out of school soon (and therefore able to entertain their youngest brother) I will be able to get back to writing book 2. Trying to write with so much going on just isn’t possible for me. I have to get lost in it, disappear for hours into the world inside my head. I put my ear buds in, crank the volume up and play the same song in a loop (Katherine and Viktor’s song was Airplanes by B.o.B, strange perhaps, but I think it was the dark emotion in it that made that song work…Rocky’s song was Terrified by Katherine McPhee, both of these crack me up because I do not listen to popular music and only knew about the songs because of a car ride with my sister). After awhile I don’t even hear it, loud as it is. The music only serves to feed the emotion and drown out the world. Until their school lets out I will focus on the research, that takes several hours a day because I’m like addict. But when I write it’s even worse. I can write all day. Or I could, if the children didn’t insist on being fed!
There’s a lot more historical research necessary for book two. And it’s been kind of strange how history has been playing right into my hands, creating spectacular plot points I hadn’t even thought of. The second book will be decidedly different from the first, meatier and more intense. That is, perhaps, I hope, something Meyer and I will have in common: getting better with each book.
Do you ever base your characters off real-life people?

The only real-life people who appeared in Filter were Gregor Mendel and the Lemps, both historical figures. As for present-day people, no. My characters are purely imaginary. No wait….I take that back. In honor of my friend, Abbie, who read my first chapters and begged for more, I created Abbie, secretary to the Drexler’s. They even look alike. But that’s it. It’s too weird for me!
Much of Filter took place in St. Louis. Why did you choose it? Is it easier for you to write about a rural or urban place?
For me it’s easier to write rural because that’s what I know. I chose St. Louis because living nearby, I know the city fairly well. It also figured in nicely historically. There was even talk in the late 1800’s of making St. Louis the nation’s capitol. That was an important motivating factor for Klaus von Strassenberg’s decision to move there.

Can we expect any books from you other than the von Strassenberg Saga?
While trying to work on book two of the von Strassenberg Saga, other “voices” have spoken to me and I’ve plunked out the beginning of the stories. Both are mysteries. Although, in it’s own way, Filter is also a mystery. Don’t dare think you have it figured out! Because I can guarantee you, you don’t! My goal, in carefully laying out the plot of the saga, is to make the reader gasp and say, “Wait! No! That wasn’t supposed to happen!” And to do it without hokey coincidences that only serve to cheapen the plot.
How soon can we expect book two?
It is my hope against hope to have the first draft of book 2 (and it has a title I LOVE, but won’t tell you) done by midsummer. The editing actually can take longer than the writing. So, maybe by the fall, book two will be available. (I will tell you…the song for the lead female character in book 2 is Natalie Merchant’s Ophelia…..but that’s all you’re getting’!)
Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed, Gwenn. I wish you luck with your book, Filter!

Check out Gwenn Wright, and read her book, I urge you!
Here are places where you can find her:

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

COVER SATURDAYS #1--It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Every Saturday, I am going to post a cover that I absolutely LOVE. It doesn't matter if I like the book, I am definately judging a book by its cover here. The book must be published for me to use it.

Okay, okay, I know that I've already reviewed it. But I love the original cover (I have the movie edition, it's like all you can find anymore...sigh) so I am using it again. Plus, Ned Vizzini is one of my favorite authors. And not to brag or anything...well okay, I'm bragging...but he commented on my review of Teen Angst? Naah... which pretty much made my day. Anyways, here's the cover:

Check out Ned's website here:

Friday, April 22, 2011


So here's the dealio. Every Friday, I am going to post my favorite book in a certain category, favorite author, etc. In a comment, you should tell me what yours is!

Favorite YA Series

First of all, the obvious Harry Potter Series.
The series, following a boy who realizes he is a wizard, is written by JK Rowling.

Second, gotta give Alex Rider some credit, especially after the newest and final installment in the series, Scorpia Rising.
Finally, also somewhat obvious but worth the credit, The Hunger Games.
I really love this series, but I do agree that they sort of went downhill after the first. That's not to say that I didn't love every one, though!

Those are mine, what are yours?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking.

Let me start out by saying that I am very impressed with Hocking's success. Her writing is good, especially (in my opinion) Ascend and Hollowland. That said, I'm really not a huge fan of this one.

My Blood Approves starts out with Jane and Alice trying to get into a night club. They get ganged up on by these people, and then this guy Jack helps them out. Everybody stares at Jack and stuff. It's kinda creepy. Anyways, Alice isn't obsessed with Jack like most, but she becomes infatuated with him and his family for what seems like no other reason than because she is the main character of this book. And, of course, they happen to be vampires. I know Hocking probably hears this from everybody who reads this, and I went into the book completely unbiased, but this seems about like Twilight with a different name and some other factors. If the second book involves werewolves, I'll be pissed, haha. The book seemed unoriginal, and excrutiatingly boring. I don't think that I'll be getting Fate, the second installment in this series.

Check back later--I've just bought a bunch of books, so I'll definately be posting updates soon!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Crash Into Me by Albert Borris

Albert Borris writes fearlessly about the ever so true world of teen suicide in Crash Into Me.

The book begins with Owen embarking on a road trip with three other angsty teens--Frank, Audrey, and Jin-Ae--whom he met on the internet. Most of them have already tried to kill themselves. Some of them are just seriously effed up.
Owen has a dark secret that has always haunted him that makes him want to kill himself. He is the main protagonist.
Audrey, the victim of too much 'love' from her father, becomes one of the dominating characters of the book. At first, I thought that I would hate her character. How wrong I was. By the end of the book, I felt so sorry for her.
Jin-Ae is a lesbian who fears her parents' reaction to her sexuality. Her character, while seeming childish at times, helped a lot to drive the book along.
Frank, an underachieving athlete, feels he will never live up to high expectations. He often seemed to be the most unstable one of the book.
Together, they road trip across America to visit celebrity suicide sites or graves. At the end of their trip, they plan to end it all in Death Valley. The trip, and their lives. It's so symbolic, eh? But will they go through with it? Or will they find a reason to live?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking

Amanda Hocking wrote the Trylle Trilogy--Switched, Torn, and Ascend.

They're self-published. That being said, the writing is very impressive, and she has been picked up by a publisher for her next series. There are a few errors, but you can look past them, and if you can't, well, stop reading. Your loss.
I'm pretty sure you can only buy these on the internet...idk, though. I read them all on my kindle.

The books follow the story of Wendy Everly. She is just an average girl...except she can do this whole thing with her mind that makes people obey her...and then Finn Holmes comes along and changes her life forever. He tells her that she's a troll--but not the 'answer this riddle and you may pass' type of troll, so they call themselves Trylle--and that she is in danger. The Vittra want her for reasons that she doesn't know.
He takes her to a kingdom called Forening where she realizes that everything about her life is a lie. Then she is torn for the rest of the three books between three guys--Finn, Tove, and Loki. It's basically insanity. You must read.

I really liked the books and their stories. It was very interesting, and I will definately be reading more from Hocking. In fact, I'm reading her new one, Hollowland, on my Kindle right now. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz

I've 'rode' these books from the beginning to the end, starting in sixth grade. (You see what I did there, don't you?) In my honest opinion, they kept getting better as each one came. Alex grew, and with him, the threats grew as well.

Although Alex had many enemies, his biggest enemy was Scorpia, which stood for Sabotage, Corruption, Intelligence, and Assassination. He's forced them down before, but they won't stay down for long. The first part of the book is written through Scorpia's point of view, and, I won't lie, it was written so well that I actually wanted them to succeed. The second half, of course, is Alex. He is sent by M16 to live and attend school in Cairo. They tell him that all he must do is check out a school in Cairo. He finds out that his mission is much bigger than that.
Horowitz did something new with this one! Jack Starbright and Mr. Smithers joined Alex on his mission, because, honestly, all he was doing was going to school, right? I love how Horowitz incorporates the two characters and makes you meet them in a new way.
The end of this book will have you wondering: Who is REALLY the enemy?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wanna do me a favor?

Hey, loyal blog readers. If you wanna do something super nice, you could check out my writing on inkpop, and if you like it, add it to your picks.

It's called Through His Eyes and it is a novel in verse.

It's about a girl living in the aftermath of her brother's suicide. If you want to know more, read the description posted on inkpop, it's much lengthier.

So please, I beg you, check it out!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Burned by Ellen Hopkins

So here's the deal: I love books in free verse, and Hopkins is by far the best.

That said, let's look at her book BURNED.
Burned is more of a romance than any of her other books.

It follows the story of Pattyn Von Stratten, a girl in a strict Mormon family who begins questioning her faith after an innocent sex dream. She wonders if she is held accountable for her dreams, if she can ever make it into heaven.

Well, after being caught in a questionable position with a boy, her life begins to spiral out of control. And her mother, about to have her first boy, shouldn't have to handle the stress, should she? So her parents send her to live with her Aunt Jeannette, or Aunt J as she calls her. Aunt J is nice and loving, but she has also been scarred emotionally by Pattyn's father. She helps Pattyn to find love, happiness, and herself.

This book has the best ending of any romance novel I have ever read before. Read it, and all of Hopkins' other books.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 4, 2011

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

For the month of March, the Teen Reader's Book Club over at Goodreads is reading two books: I Am Number Four and Delirium. Being the overachiever that I am, I finished IANF yesterday. It's a great book, I must say.

The book is mostly about planets being raided for resources. Of course, the big part is being chased by Mogadorian aliens, but it's really about that. Basically, 'John Smith's' planet was destroyed and he had to come to earth. There's this Loric charm on him and these nine other kids.

The charm's really cool. They can't be killed out of order. Why? Because that'd make the story more interesting, of course. There's some other nifty things about the charm, but I won't go too deep.

Another thing about this book is that it's a love story. It's about his love for Sarah, and, if you ask me, his love for Henri, his guardian.

The Mogadorians are some pretty freaky dudes. They are pretty vicious. They want to kill the Loric people on Earth. They're trying.

The book begins with Number Three's death, and the scar that means somebody died carves into John's leg. He has to move, so Henri and him go to a place called Paradise, where his life sort of changes.

The movie's really good as well, but there are some parts that are very different.

Check back later, sorry for the sort of scattered review. I'm really tired but I wanted to review it tonight.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Teen Angst? Naaah... by Ned Vizzini

First things first: if you haven't read anything by Ned Vizzini, get off my blog. Like now. This way, you can speed to the nearest bookstore and buy up all three of his books.

This is Ned:

One of the major reasons that I think Ned is so cool is that I messaged him and he answered me a couple of weeks better, answering everything in detail. That's pretty cool for an author to do, because they are so busy. Anyways, Teen Angst? Naaah... is his autobiograpy.
It's pretty cool because there are little mini-stories in the book. Each of them are interesting. I loved every one, but I have to say that my favorite story was Cable Access Says No. It's pretty funny because I was like, did he REALLY do that? It made me laugh so hard. But what's really cool about the book isn't just how funny it is, but that it is from when he was in high school--like me. I guess it's just pretty neat to see that even your favorite authors had to suffer through high school.

Anyways, reviewing an autobiography is kind of tough for me because I hardly ever read them. If I were you, though, I would invest in this one. It's so good I want two copies. It's so good I want to punch a sheep, for no apparant reason except for how good this book is. It's so good that I want to end this blog post so that I can go read it.